I joined the team of Peace Home, a center dedicated to people with multiple disabilities, for three months. Working side by side with formidable women, I learned to live in the moment.
As someone who grew up in Meerut, a city with a 36 percent Muslim population in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, I am not unaccustomed to flare-ups between religious communities. But I never witnessed the scale and the spread of hatred that is going on currently. On September 5, 2017, my own friend and colleague at The Times of India, Gauri Lankesh, a critic of Hindu nationalists, was shot dead in one such senseless act of violence.
The six months we spent at the other side of the world are a human and spiritual experience of great richness. Going on mission with the MEP entails accepting to no longer be the captain of the ship in one’s life. It means leaving the bar to God and his love.
Every Year, over 150 young people, between 20 and 30 years of age, knock on the door of the MEP Volunteer Service. They arrive with a sincere desire to give, and give of themselves.
Here at Kiran, we do not use the term handicapped, but rather differently capable. From kindergarten to professional schools, there are 400 children, teenagers, and young adults who come everyday to the village. Situated et 20 km to the south of Varanasi, it is here that we have been sent on mission, along the Ganges River and in the middle of rice paddies.